By Elizabeth Howcroft
LONDON – Revolut is giving customers the chance to earn cryptocurrency rewards if they allow the lender to “stake” their coins to verify blockchain transactions, in a sign the digital bank is embracing crypto after a series of industry crashes.
The feature will be available to customers in Britain and around 30 other European countries as part of Revolut’s plan to expand its crypto-related services, it said in a statement.
Revolut was valued at around $33 billion in the last known funding round in 2021, making it then Britain’s most valuable startup. But its 2021 financial accounts, which were due last summer, have not been published yet.
Owners of crypto assets that use a “proof-of-stake” blockchain can stake some of their assets to potentially take part in the process of validating transactions. In exchange for their work, validators get transaction fees and/or newly created crypto assets.
Typically the more assets a validator stakes, the more chance it has of getting work.
Revolut said it would use third-party validators.
The potential rewards would vary depending on the customer, and token staked, but customers could earn up to 11.65% annual percentage yield, it said.
The cryptocurrency market plunged last year as investor confidence was sapped by a combination of interest rate hikes and high-profile collapses including FTX and Celsius.
Lawmakers have stepped up calls for regulation after crypto firms’ customers were left with large losses.
Britain’s finance ministry laid out its first set of rules to regulate cryptoassets last week.
Revolut said customers’ staked funds would be held with “trusted custodians” but did not specify who these custodians were.
Asked how the firm established the trustworthiness of the custodians, a spokesperson told Reuters that Revolut completed its own due diligence.